a deep hall of beauty by markhillary
The central question that the Hermit asks is…are you brave enough to go within? The question that we in turn ask the Hermit is…are you brave enough to come back out?
In a consult the Hermit can represent the querant, a person—especially a teacher or guide in the querant’s life, or a phase of study, solitude, and going inward that has some relationship to the querant. In most decks the Hermit is depicted as an older, somewhat sagacious looking man, with a long robe, staff, and lamp inside of which blazes a six rayed star. In the RWS deck-my favorite to work with as an intro to Tarot-he stands on top of what looks like snowy white peaks-indicating that he has achieved an apex of mastery in some given field-he has transcended and as such there is a part of him that is otherworldly. This is why sometimes the Hermit might also refer to a spirit guide or ancestor working in the querant’s life.
The Hermit is a master at his craft. He has committed to years of solitude so that he that his devotion to God, his art, his knowledge & his magic burn brightly-these are the attributes we see in the lantern. He has been brave-for solitude demands bravery, he has been focused-for excellence demands unparalleled attention, and he has been faithful-dedicating years (represented by the long white beard) to his work. His challenge is to re-engage with the world when the time is right, because the Hermit has not been toiling away all these years simply for himself. The light of illumination & revelation that he now possesses is meant to be shared, to shine on the entire world, and in order to do that he must come out of his cave and back into the crowds, the city, the marketplace. Failure to do so results in a dimming light, necrotic knowledge, anti-social behavior problems, or simply stagnation.
Put it into practice:
The Hermit gains wisdom because he is willing to focus with single minded concentration on the work at hand. Is there a project, endeavor, or goal that you have that has been neglected, only half completed, or simply sits gathering dust? Maybe it was not really that important-if that’s the case then let it go. But if its something that you truly want to accomplish follow these 3 steps inspired by the Hermit to do it in a timely & masterly manner!
1.) Identify the road blocks: what is keeping you from achieving your goal—maybe its as simple as time or as deep as a fear of failure. Name it and write it down.
2.) Create a sacred space for your work. Although we don’t see it-cartomancy tradition tells us that the Hermit has a magical cave he goes into where all of his tools, books, and studies reside. You need to create your own cave-think of it as a womb-you are gestating your creative self! Take the time to assemble all of the tools you will need, to make the area aesthetically pleasing, and bless it in some manner.
3.) Unplug & put up the Do Not Disturb Sign: You know Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own—that’s what you need to cultivate—this is your sacred time for your sacred work. That means NO interruptions, phone calls, noodling on the net, writing a letter to your BFF—no. Do not self-sabotage yourself by choosing a time when the kids are home, when your partner is out, when you are likely to be distrubed. This is time for you and your work. Simple. Direct. Immeasurably Deep.
Setting aside a chunk of time everyday for your vital work is the best habit & practice to cultivate, and it is a spiritual practice. But for many of us the need to go deeper is present-the Hermit goes very deep. His energy is based off of mystics who went into the desert to live, fast, pray, and invoke God for months and years at a time. You don’t have to pull out the sunscreen, but think about how you can bring more time & space into your life. Start by looking at how much time you spend in front of a screen…do a digital detox for a weekend, a week, a month, and report back on how you feel.
I encourage you to share any insights, encouragement, and questions in the comments section below–you never know when one of your questions or comments might help open this up for someone else!